New Providers on Science Exchange: Predictive Models and Analytical Tools for Translational Research

August 2, 2017 | Posted by Team in Innovation Highlight, New Innovations |
Image of Colon Tumor Cells courtesy of OcellO

Image of Colon Tumor Stem Cells courtesy of OcellO

If you aren’t exploring the latest cell culture models of human tissue for nonclinical and preclinical testing, you should be.

That’s the bottom line of today’s Science Exchange service provider roundup — three of the five newest service providers on our platform are experts in developing predictive models.

Advances in predictive model systems

Axiogenesis, based in Germany, develops iPSC-derived models of cardiac tissue, neurons, and other cell types. In late 2016, the company made the news when researchers at the United States FDA published a peer-reviewed study showing that Axiogenesis’s Cor.4U cardiomyocyte model was the most predictive model in cardiac safety tests. Last month, researchers at Wake Forest University used the Cor.4U model to develop a digitally trackable beating-heart biosensor. The future of cardiac safety clearly lies beyond hERG channel electrophysiology!

Generating tissue models with precise spatial resolution is possible using 3D bioprinting, in which Cypre Biotech is an expert. Based in San Francisco, USA, the company focuses on customizing the extracellular matrix of tumor microenvironment models to match certain cancer subtypes. Given the impact of new cancer drugs, including certain immunotherapies, on the tumor microenvironment, technologies such as that developed by Cypre are going to be needed for testing safety and efficacy.

The third service provider in this roundup excelling in the development of clinically relevant microtissue models is OcellO, headquartered in the Netherlands. Researchers at OcellO have published numerous peer-reviewed studies showing how combining three-dimensional tissue culture with high-throughput imaging can enable efficient, automated screening and phenotypic profiling. Their most recent publication showed that phenotypic screening of kinase inhibitors could reveal potential new targets for polycystic kidney disease (view abstract in the Resources section of the OcellO storefront).

Analytical methods for translational research

As model systems advance in complexity and throughput, analytical methods must keep pace. Two service providers new on Science Exchange are known for their expertise in developing reliable analytical methods.

Pangaea Oncology is one of the most prestigious laboratories in the world in the fields of molecular diagnostics, pathology, and related analysis services for translational research. We are thrilled to have the Pangaea team, led by expert Dr. Rafael Rosell and Nobel laureate Dr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, join the Science Exchange platform! Pangaea Oncology was the first laboratory in Spain to be accredited to perform certain genetic tests for cancer in serum/plasma samples, advancing precision medicine.

We also bring you Metis Laboratories, whose analytical expertise centers on radiotracer-based assays. These assays remain one of the most sensitive and specific platforms for assessing ligand binding and compound distribution; however, complex handling requirements mean that outsourcing these studies is far more practical than developing radiotracer assays in house.

Connect with a new provider today!

Are you new to Science Exchange? See how it works.

Small Biotech Stories: Eos Neuroscience

November 26, 2013 | Posted by Brianne Villano in Innovation Highlight |

Eos Neuroscience is a company built on collaboration, featuring a unique team with expertise in transgenes, virology and gene expression, and retinal degeneration. Once they complete their preclinical stage, their intended userbase would be those with blindness attributed to photoreceptor degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration.

They are running into some problems in the process of preclinical research, however. Alan Horsager, Co-Founder and CSO, describes his experience, “As a whole, biotech needs to deeply reevaluate the process, all the way from discovery to market. It’s so arduous that so few impactful drugs make it to market. There are certain gene therapies making it through, but the path is not easy at all. We say ’20 years and $200 million.'”

In light of difficulties and the expense of developing technologies, companies like Alan’s are trying to find ways to do things more efficiently, and their team is so unique that it’s difficult to recreate that collaboration. So rather than trying to clone themselves, they’re on Science Exchange.

“Science Exchange provides the opportunity to bring experts together toward a common goal, a network of distributed team members.” says Alan. “You can’t have an organization that has all the people and equipment that you need. You need expertise in different areas and Science Exchange provides a central location where you can go to get the experts.”

If your business encompasses multiple research areas, it is often difficult to access all the equipment and researchers you need in house. Eos does a wide range of research including vector development, qPCR, and gene expression, but in varying degrees and not constantly. So having the ability to do all that in house when you’re not doing the research full-time doesn’t make much sense.

Alan elaborated, “You can hire a postdoc for $70K per year, and theoretically they do more than a PCR assay, but if they don’t do it right it takes extra time and there’s a lot of training involved. If you’re only doing a couple of different assays, it’s probably better to hire someone and do it internally. But if you’re doing a lot of different assays, it’s better to seek external experts because it’s a fraction of the cost.”

We have actually found that researchers can save up to 46% on various experiments like immunohistochemistry (IHC), cloning, and sequencing, so Alan is absolutely right. Any product that enables you to order services from scientific experts across the world at significant discounts is worth a second look.

About Eos Neuroscience:
Eos has designed and managed clinical programs in gene therapy and the eye and has been involved in all aspects of primary research including transgenes, virology and gene expression, and retinal degeneration. Their worldwide core of experts has expertise covering basic research through clinical/regulatory.

About the author

    Brianne is dedicated to customer support and development for Science Exchange. She     is a formally trained biologist with a M.S. in Biotechnology whose past experience at           Charles River Laboratories sparked a flame for building client relationships.

 

Guest post: At the core of cancer research, shared resources accelerate translation

March 2, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Outsourcing Trends |

This is a guest post by Deborah Berry, Co-Director for the Histopathology and Tissue Shared Resource (HTSR) at Lombardi Cancer Center (full bio below). 

One of my colleagues at the Georgetown University Medical Center, Todd Waldman, is studying the genes that cause glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).  GBM is the most common and deadly form of primary brain tumor; it was infamously responsible for the death of Senator Edward Kennedy in 2009.  Todd’s group discovered a chromosomal deletion in a GBM cell line that resulted in the loss of a gene – STAG2 – which is important for proper segregation of genetic material during cell division.   Many cancers are associated with abnormal numbers of chromosomes (aneuploidy), so Todd suspected that the absence of STAG2 could be a source of chromosomal instability that leads to tumorigenesis.

They tested for and found STAG2 deletions or mutations in multiple GBM cell lines, they found that knocking out STAG2 in healthy cell lines led to chromosomal instability.  From there, Todd and his group wanted to assess the potential clinical relevance of their finding by looking beyond cell lines.  So, they came to our core facility – the Histopathology and Tissue Shared Resource at Lombardi Cancer Center – and asked us to test primary tissue samples for loss of STAG2.  Our immunohistochemistry department stained multiple Tissue Microarrays (TMAs) containing numerous glioblastoma and Ewing’s sarcoma samples for STAG2 and discovered that it was indeed missing in a number of tumors.  You can see the results for yourself in the paper that Todd and his colleagues published in Science last year.

Read the rest of this entry »

About Science Exchange

We are transforming scientific collaboration by creating a marketplace where scientists can order experiments from the world's top labs.

Check the Science Exchange blog for updates, opinions, guest posts and the latest happenings at Science Exchange HQ!

Visit Science Exchange →

Subscribe to the blog
Never miss a post! Science Exchange blog posts delivered right to your inbox.
Thank you for joining the SciEx revolution!
Powered By WPFruits.com